And now for something completely different:
If you read my last post, you'll know that Sunday, I visited a German version of Young Life Club. During Club, as I was the only American in the room and consequently the only "authentic" Young Lifer, I was interviewed. (Auf Deutsch, natürlich). One of the questions that the German leader asked me was, "Can you share with us an embarrassing moment you've had since you've been in Germany?" I had to rack my brain on the spot, and eventually came up with "Well, at the beginning, I used to stay "I stink" a lot when I meant to say "I think". The kids laughed. Oh that I could have that moment back though, because I have a much more embarrassing story to share with you:
Tonight I decided to walk home from t1, the youth center where I am a leader. On my way home, I pass by the boys that come to our center that think they are gangsters. They always hang out at the bus stop in the neighborhood. So on my way home I stopped to chat with them a little bit, and one of them, out of the blue, challenges me to a dance-off a la Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in Zoolander. I, being the new dance instructor for TenSing Esslingen, naturally agree.
The kid cues one of his friends (Mustafa, or Musti for short) to start beatboxing, walks down the sidewalk, and does his little dance. I am slighlty impressed.
Aware that my entire reputation is on the line here, standing in front of 10 high school guys that all think they are God's gift to Creation, I reflect on what kind of dance I can do. It hits me (mostly because there is only one dance move I can do) -- the Crib Walk (or for those of us who think we are cool, "the C-Walk"). The Crib Walk was very in when I was in high school, and I worked diligently on learning it from my friend Chantal while I was on Work Crew at a Young Life camp in 10th grade. Consequently, the C-Walk is my one and only dance move; the one I pull out when I want to impress people.
Mutzi starts beatboxing again. I give myself a little time to get the rhythm and start the Crib Walk. Three steps in, Musti abruptly stops beatboxing. I stop C-Walking.
The guys start yelling - Hey! Daaanng! She can actually dance! Whoaah! Amanda! Dance off!
I fold my arms over my chest "Yeah, well, you asked for a dance off, but you didn't give me much of a chance there, did you?"
(Guys keep hollering). Musti says "Amanda, do it again!"
Me, knowing my reputation is on the line here, and not all that sure that I can actually hold myself together well enough to do it a second time, say "Nope, sorry, you had your chance, the chance is over"
He starts beat boxing, but I shake my head, remembering that age-old saying about magicians and comedians - - always leave the audience wanting more.
Feeling very cool, and like I've won some respect with the teenagers I work so hard to love every day, I say, "Sorry, maybe next time", "Good night", and do one of those model-style-movie-star-I-am-too-cool-twists, wave, turn my back on them, and walk away into the dark night...
...and right into a pole.
I am talking smack-dab, face-first, resounding "BOOOOONG" so loud the whole neighborhood can hear it and they're wondering if my brain is still intact, walked right into a pole.
I walked home, my coolness once again torn to shreds by my hopeless clumsiness, my head throbbing a bit, and the guys resumed their self-appointed roles as God's gifts to Creation, no dancer to prove them otherwise.
End of Story
(p.s. Except that, it's not exactly the end of the story, since it's only the next chapter in an epic of similar events, like that time two months ago when I was riding bikes with my roommate Christoph and BIKED right into a pole, was whipped off my bike into a ditch, giving Christoph a heart attack and reminding myself why I choose to wear a helmet when I bike...or the time I broke my toe on a blender... which I would blame on myself if it weren't for a certain story about my Great Grandma Mo and bicycling...but that's for another post).